The Kentucky Wildcats plan on taking the national title this year, but no victory will feel sweeter to them than a defeat over the Indiana Hoosiers in the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NCAA tournament.
The Wildcats lost just one regular-season game this entire year, which dated back to December 10, 2011, as the team visited the Hoosiers at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN.
Both teams were off to an 8-0 start, but the Hoosiers were unranked at the time. The game was close, as the first half closed with a score 30-29, Hoosiers.
The second half was even closer, as both teams scored 43 points, to end the game with a final score of 73-72.
Considering how things ended in that game—with a Hoosiers buzzer-beating three-pointer to take a one-point lead to finish the game—the Wildcats likely feel that they were stripped of a win they deserved.
Up until the SEC tournament, that loss remained the only one for the Wildcats all season long, and nothing would erase that shot at a potential perfect season than to take down the Hoosiers in the NCAA tournament.
The Wildcats will first have to get by Mississippi Valley State or Western Kentucky in the second round, as well as a potential victory over their Final Four opponents from just a season ago, the UConn Huskies.
The Hoosiers are not in the clear either, as they must get past New Mexico State in the second round, and then a potential matchup with last year's surprise Final Four team in VCU or Wichita State, who has been playing well this season.
The Wildcats look like they should make it there easily, but it is the Hoosiers who have a tougher route there.
In the end, even if they are the strongest competition, the Wildcats should want to set things straight with the Hoosiers before this season is said and done.